SECAP resignation casts doubts on Brazilian betting progress

The progress of Brazil’s planned federal sports betting framework has been cast into doubt following the resignation of Alexander Manoel, Secretary of SECAP – Brazil’s public policy and planning agency for Energy & Lotteries.

This week, Brazilian industry news source Games Magazine reported that Manoel had chosen to resign as leader of SECAP, the department tasked with developing the legislative proponents to regulate Brazil’s fixed-odds sports betting marketplace.

Following a review of draft documents last December, SECAP officials had detailed confidence in delivering the nation’s first federal sports betting framework, which was due to be put to the Brazilian Senate for approval by the end of January 2020.

SECAP has yet to update incumbents on its 2020 agenda, yet Manoel underlines that his resignation should not impact the progress of finalising the foundations of Brazil’s Sports Betting Law.

2019 saw SECAP develop the initial proposal of former President Michel Temer’s Bill MP-849 (approved 2018), which allowed Brazil to formally begin legislation regulating land-based and online sports betting services.

Despite its approval, Bill MP-849 framework primarily focused on restructuring the distribution of proceeds from Brazil’s national lottery services. 2019 would see SECAP conduct two public consultations on the regulatory make-up of Bill MP-849 forming its draft decree.

At present, SECAP draft provisions maintain a 1% turnover tax on sports wagering, which the agency has equated as a 5-7% GGR charge, despite betting incumbents challenging its calculations.  

Further criticism of SECAP’s draft proposal has focused on the lack of sports integrity provisions, which are reported to be well below the safeguards needed for a regulated wagering market.

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